Understanding Sexual and Technological Addictions. Are You Or Your Children Already Addicted? Part X

Mark Twain
Cover of Mark Twain

Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

“When people do not respect us we are sharply offended; yet in his private heart
no man much respects himself.”          Mark Twain

Most spouses and partners don’t understand that when they begin surfing the Internet that they will somehow end up at a pornographic website. This unintentional find is something men and women come across and somehow the “pleasure zones” i.e. places which sexually stimulate the individual becomes a home where the individual can sexually find excitement, joy, pleasure, and so much more.

However, there is a price to be paid, if not mentally, emotionally, and immediately financially the individual becomes engulfed into a world they never knew existed. Somewhere down the road after years of paying thousands of dollars and finding instant sexual gratification they are either caught by their spouse or partner or they openly admit they have a problem.

Moving forward, the spouse, or partner learn from their spouse or partner that they have a serious sexual problem and they need help. In an earlier article I documented that upon learning that their spouse or partner had a sexual addiction problem a study demonstrated that 36% of the female spouses or partners left the relationship and 28% of the male spouses left the relationship.

Once the spouse or partner learns of the sexual addiction they have several options. They are:
1.      They may have the spouse or partner move out of their home until such time the sexual addiction is in the recovery stages or he/she has control of the sexual problem.
2.      They can permanently or temporarily leave the relationship.
3.      They can stand by their spouse or partner and assist them in the recovery and treatment of the addiction.
4.      They can use the sexual addiction as a tool to control, manipulate, verbally and emotionally abuse, limit intimacy, and so forth.
5.      They can call all their friends and family and tell them that their spouse or partner is a sexual addict.
6.      They can attend counseling with their spouse or partner and be there for the spouse or partner when their spouse or partner begins to have inappropriate sexual needs or urges.
7.      They can pray for their spouse or partner and ask God for a miracle healing.
8.      They can take control of the finances so the sexual addict has no access to money which was previously being spent on pornography, prostitution, sex chat lines, and so forth.
9.      They can ask others to pray for their spouse or partner and support them in their spiritual journey back to their relationship with God.
10.  They can either respect that the spouse or partner came forward and disclosed that they have a sexual addiction or they can turn away and not support them. Disrespect can only create and cause one avenue for the sexual addict to follow and that is to engulf themselves into the world of sexual fantasies, pornography, and so forth.

So the question which needs to be considered is does the non-sexual addict have the mental and emotional ability to be a part of the recovery and treatment of their sexually addict spouse or partner? If not, the sexual addict will have a difficult time getting back to some type of normalcy.

It is not that uncommon for the non-sexual addict spouse or partner to have several issues of their own and when the sexual addict spouse or partner comes forward and discloses his/her problem this only enhances the problems of the past for the non-sexual addict spouse or partner.

Considering if the sexual addict should receive the respect of the past, needs to be considered by the non-sexual addict spouse or partner. The lack of respect will cause the sexual addict to withdraw from the relationship even though they are struggling with the sexual addiction if they become focused on respect and non-respect issues.

There are several professionals who provide advice about how the non-addict spouse or partner should treat or respect their sexual addict spouse or partner during the recovery and treatment. They are:
     1.      Respect him/her verbally, intellectually, and physically.
     2.   Although traumatized by the news of the sexual addiction, have a positive attitude and demonstrate care, grace, and love at all times.   
     3.      Don’t blame or place blame during discussions or disagreements towards the sexual addict spouse or partner about their sexual addiction and what the addiction has done to their relationship.
     4.      Pray for him and with him on a daily basis, morning and at bedtime.
     5.      Journal your feelings in your journal and jointly journal your feelings.
     6.    Make a list of the qualities of your husband that you respect. Don’t focus specifically on the sexual addiction. This does not mean you ignore the elephant in the room. There is a place and a time for dealing with the sexual addiction.
    7.      Tell your spouse or partner that you appreciate him/her as a spouse or partner and as a father or mother.
     8.      Never criticize your spouse or partner in front of your children. This advice speaks for itself.
     9.   If you have specific concerns about the sexual addiction, then discuss these concerns with him/her. Do not keep issues inside until the steam comes out of your ears. Be open and honest about your feelings but demonstrate respect in your approach.
   10.  Even though you may have been his/her spouse or partner, sit down with him/her and find out what he/she is interested in. Ask him/her what his likes or dislikes are about your relationship; specifically about the issues surrounding sex. This may be difficult because this could be the reason he/she went somewhere else to find their “pleasure zones.”

These ten steps may make the difference about how the spouse or partner responds to reinstituting the relationship to a place where it appears to be normal. The difference may be in the way each non-addict spouse or partner respects the sexually addicted spouse or partner. Demonstrating the appropriate respect can go a long way in mending the relationship.

Tomorrow, the need to explore and examine the effects of how sexual addiction affects the relationship has a multitude of facets and aspects I have not discussed or touched upon. As I continue with this series it is my hope to continue to be informative about technological and sexual addiction.
To learn my own simple framework for creating a more enjoyable life, see my books Battles of the Flesh 2ed, It Could Happen To You and Code of Conduct on Amazon/Kindle.  
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